We see them on red carpets, on the big screens, and through the television in our own homes. We buy magazines because their face is on it, books because they wrote them, and products because they endorsed them. They made it. They can officially claim the term celebrity. And while I feel a bit of responsibility comes with that title, I think we tend to forget that celebrities are people too. I work at a members-only restaurant and lounge in West Hollywood. It would be easier to give a list of who I haven’t seen. Everybody is somebody in the city of angels. Everyone is VIP and everyone is having the most important conversation of their life.
You could say I’m quite immune to Hollywood and everyone in it. Even before this job I have always had the mentality that people are people. **gasp** I worked at a few restaurants in Chicago that got their fair share of celebrity clientele. Conan O’Brien came in one night. It is now that I must confess I have such a crush on this man. #Fact I kept it professional, but observed as he was continually approached by other patrons for pictures and autographs. He barely got to enjoy the company he was with because of all the fuss but he never seemed bothered or annoyed. In fact, the only time he did seem bothered was when the men sitting on either side of him got their salads mixed up. They were both eyeing the others salad and pointing across Conan tentatively. Conan’s exact words were, “Oh my god! Big deal!” as he rolled his eyes and he switched the plates himself. Did I mention huge crush?
I don’t know why, as a society, we care where a Kardashian is at any given moment. I don’t know why we have to know who wore it better beyond the fact that it immediately sets up women against eachother. I am at a loss for words that there are now TV shows whose existence is solely based on celebrity gossip. TMZ buses drive by my work on the daily and most of what they are telling their passengers isn’t even true. In fact, one bus claimed Halle Berry was walking down the street but really it was my friend Tracey.
And if you’ve never seen paparazzi hound anyone, you really should because it’s like watching society melt before your very eyes. We have turned people’s lives into zoos. These photographers wait around for hours, knowing a certain someone is inside. They wait and they wait because their next paycheck depends on it. Their entire living is based on invading the privacy of others which I find appalling almost as much as the fact that society enables it. Princess Diana isn’t here today because of this obsession. Think about that for a minute.
And to put this into perspective, imagine knowing that anytime you leave the house, you could end up on the cover of a magazine. Imagine not being paranoid but knowing people are following you, even if you can’t see them. If it’s not the paparazzi, it’s someone with a cell phone trying to get a picture or tweeting about you. I can’t speak for everyone but I don’t even like being in pictures when I know they are being taken. I don’t even like it if I think someone is looking at me funny. I don’t know anyone who wants to be put under a microscope…except for maybe Kayne.
The next time you’re reading a magazine, remember these people are just trying to live their lives. 99% of the time, those pictures you’re seeing and paying for were taken without their consent and without their knowledge. Intimate moments are now at the world’s fingertips and society relishes every bit of it like they deserve to know. Why are we so consumed with other people’s lives? Are you just as interested in the lives of people you actually know?
Instead of focusing on ourselves and the people in our lives that matter, our culture has become obsessed with celebrities. I could post a picture on Instagram of me and my friends bowling and you’d scroll right by. Add Ryan Gosling into the mix and all of a sudden I’m the coolest thing on social media since the mannequin challenge. Here’s what I have to say about that: I do not need Ryan Gosling to be cool, or valid, or worth your click of a ‘like’. Don’t get me wrong, I admire his work and the alien sketch on SNL featuring Kate McKinnon was the best thing I’ve seen on the show since Will Ferrell’s departure, but he adds no significance to my life. Zero.
We talk about these people over the dinner table like we know them and it’s as perplexing as Barb’s whereabouts in Stranger Things. We should be talking about Nobel Prize recipients, not the sexiest man alive according to the board of People Magazine. Be invested in your life and the lives of those that have an actual impact on yours. Of course you’re entitled to have idols and inspirations but don’t put anyone on a higher pedestal than the one they belong on. We are all people. Be interested in YOUR people…and you’ll find your people easily because they are just as interested in YOU. Xx